Sunday, January 02, 2011
Desert Gamble, a 16-1 longshot, rallied to win Sunday’s $100,000 Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap (R) for New Mexico-breds at Sunland Park.
Ridden by Justin Shepherd for the first time in his 19-race career, Desert Gamble went 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.27 after closing off of the fractions of :23.51, :47.80, and 1:12.55 set by Huntin The Trash and 2-1 favorite Enchanted Outlaw. Joel Marr saddled the newly turned 6-year-old chestnut gelding by Desert God for owners Joe Allen and Michael Stinson.
“I think we got lucky, but he’d been training well,” said Marr, who also trains runner-up and 5-2 second choice Lefty Who. “This stakes race was a good opportunity for him to route.”
Desert Gamble was bred by Allen, a resident of Abilene, Texas, and the gelding became the 15th stakes winner from 123 starters sired by Desert God, an unraced 20-year-old son of Fappiano and 1982 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Blush With Pride. The stallion is a half brother to three graded stakes winners, including 1998 Demoiselle Stakes (G2) winner Blush With Honour, and his 16 crops have earned more than $6.6 million and include $1-million earner Peppers Pride.
Owned by Allen and his cousin Ron Allen, Desert God stands for a $6,000 fee at Fred and Linda Alexander’s A & A Horse Farm at Anthony, New Mexico.
Desert Gamble is also one of two starters foaled by Real Diamond, an 12-year-old daughter of the In Reality stallion Wabasha. The gelding’s second dam, Greatens Gamble, is a winning daughter of the In Reality stallion Sunshine Today who has produced two winners from as many starters, including Sunnie Do It, a daughter of Do It Again Dan who won five stakes in Arizona and Kansas from 1997-2000.
Campaigned exclusively in New Mexico, Desert Gamble has earned $179,604 from five wins in 19 outs. The gelding was coming off of a fifth-place finish in the one-mile Rocky Gulch New Mexico Cup Championship (R) at Zia Park on October 31.
Desert Gamble also ran fourth, 4 ½ lengths behind winner Gulchrunssweet, in last year’s 2009 New Mexico Cup Sprint Stakes (R) at Zia Park.
Desert Gamble’s winning margin was a neck from Lefty Who, and he returned a $35.20 win mutuel while scoring his first stakes victory.
Spinning Touch, Train Rider Blues, Some Ghost, Brother John D., Brother Louie, Double Smart, Huntin The Trash, Runnin Red, Big John Bean, and Enchanted Outlaw completed the order of finish.
A homebred 5-year-old Quinton’s Gold gelding racing for Sam E. Stevens of La Mesa, Texas. Lefty Who banked $20,000 to bring his career earnings to $619,294. Lefty Who has won 10 of 20 races, including seven state-bred stakes, and he was the champion New Mexico-bred 2-year-old colt or gelding in 2008.
Spinning Touch is a homebred 4-year-old bay colt owned by Michael and Jeanne Fuhs and John Kozeliski. The colt has won two of 16 races, including the September 25, 1 1/16-mile New Mexico State Fair Breeders’ Derby (R) at The Downs at Albuquerque, and he has earned $71,103.